Heidi Dempers, founding father of Yum Baker.
- Heidi Dempers makes dwelling baked South African vegan treats.
- She began her firm, Yum Baker, in the course of the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Yum Baker merchandise are stocked on-line and at a number of Checkers shops in Joburg.
Within the land of braaivleis and biltong, veganism is just not precisely synonymous with being South African, least of all on Heritage Day, when meat appears to be the order of the day.
However one revolutionary model, Yum Baker, is producing genuinely tasty vegan treats, together with all the standard favourites – from peppermint crisp tart to malva pudding, milk tart and extra.
“All individuals really need is what we grew up with,” says the lady behind the model, Heidi Dempers.
“They need the koeksisters, and everyone likes a superb cheesecake. A buttermilk rusk, I believe, will eternally be a staple for South Africans.”
Chatting to News24 over a plate of decadently moist chocolate brownies, topped with a walnut crumb, Dempers explains that Yum Baker was born out of necessity in the course of the Covid-19 lockdown when her nine-to-five job within the tourism business merely wasn’t sufficient to make ends meet.
The baking was not vegan at first and Dempers’ first order for cookies and rusks was, the truth is, for a neighborhood butchery.
“I used to be so eager for that order, after which I received into the automotive and thought – ‘so it is 15 items in a packet, and I am going to want so many pans’. After which I used to be like, ‘I do not understand how I am going to do that’. However we did,” says Dempers, referring to the assistance she received from her husband.
That order helped pay for a further second-hand oven and shortly the enterprise was on its approach. It was not lengthy earlier than Yum Baker started venturing into vegan choices.
“I actually benefit from the improvement of the menus, and I began asking vegan pals what they miss, they usually mentioned they might love some fudge. So the primary vegan merchandise by Yum Baker was the walnut fudge,” says Dempers.
“I began creating extra vegan gadgets and truly beloved it, you recognize, altering regular recipes into vegan recipes. Just a few months later, there have been 15 vegan gadgets, and I finally stopped baking the conventional stuff.”
A key milestone was in April final 12 months when Yum Baker’s vegan treats had been stocked in a Checkers retailer, a retail chain which turned out to be a superb match for a house baking enterprise like Dempers’.
The model has since grown from energy to energy in a remarkably brief area of time, and Yum Baker is now stocked at 38 Checkers shops in Johannesburg.
“It has been an attention-grabbing experience,” she says.
Once I began initially with one retailer, I used to be baking like 4 punnets of cupcakes. Now on a Monday night time, we have to bake 300 cupcakes.
As Dempers stays a full-time worker in tourism, and her husband a trainer, Yum Baker is a labour of affection which solely takes place after the kids have been put to mattress.
“I’d have mentioned you’re loopy when you advised me 18 months in the past I’d be baking 300 or 400 cupcakes a time at night time or that I’d personal a house bakery – and that it was vegan! However life has utterly modified, and even our home is now utterly vegan,” she says.
Dempers drew inspiration from her grandmother’s recipe books, as has been the case with lots of her different choices, in preparation for Yum Baker’s Christmas vary rollout.
“I used to be trying to find old school Christmas cookies and located her hand-written fruitcake recipe, stuffed with oil and dough stains. That was fairly emotional,” she says. Work to veganise the recipe has been ongoing for 2 years since.
“And the household has accepted; they mentioned I did not kill gran’s recipe!”
Dempers cannot say how massive the enterprise will develop, though she plans to stay a house baker.
“I believe what’s particular is that all the pieces that is on the market has come previous my arms. It was created with substances, a mixer and love,” she says. “I actually simply need individuals to eat it and go, ‘yum’. I need them to really feel at dwelling; I need them to really feel the love.”